Bridgestone Bandag, a long-standing manufacturer in the Abilene community, broke ground on the expansion of its retread tire plant, marking a $60 million capital investment into Abilene. This project will add 50,000 square feet to their existing 200,000 square-foot facility in Abilene, Texas.
“Our existing businesses remain the backbone of our community, and we are honored to partner with Bridgestone Bandag, which has continued to invest in Abilene for over 50 years,” said Misty Mayo, President and Chief Executive Officer of the DCOA. “Bridgestone Bandag’s expansion project is representative of the type of work the DCOA prioritizes – building long-term partnerships with local existing companies.”
Bridgestone Bandag’s expansion project is expected to retain 179 full-time employees and create an additional 25 full-time positions for Abilene. Over the next 10 years, the $60 million project is estimated to add over $21 million in taxes for the City of Abilene, Taylor County, and Abilene Independent School District.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our community and citizens. We are proud to have Bridgestone Bandag continue to grow and invest in the City of Abilene,” said Abilene Mayor Weldon Hurt.
Over the next 10 years, the total estimated indirect and direct impact of the retention and expansion of the company is $1.81 billion.
“Bridgestone Bandag is a well-established and respected company in our community. This expansion project brings immense value to our community because Bridgestone Bandag has chosen to stay, grow, and prosper here in Abilene, Texas,” said Sam Vinson, DCOA Board Chair.
As a leading manufacturer of tire retread, the expansion project will focus on the development of an automated operation for rubber mixing and production.
“Today is a significant day for all of us at the Abilene Bandag plant and across Bridgestone Americas, as we break ground on this important expansion that will allow us to grow our production capabilities to meet the needs of our customers,” said Billy Fralick, Plant Manager, Abilene Plant. “We’d like to thank the Abilene community for its support over the last 52 years. We’re excited to begin this next chapter in our plant’s history.”
The Abilene plant expansion supports Bridgestone’s E8 Commitment that consists of 8 Bridgestone-like values starting with the letter “E” (Energy, Ecology, Efficiency, Extension, Economy, Emotion, Ease, and Empowerment) to realize a sustainable society.
“Today we celebrate the growth and commitment of this plant and this community, with new investment and a physical expansion driven by growing demand for our products and, just as fundamentally, by this team’s commitment to delivering innovation and superior quality for our customers here and around the world,” said Chris Daniel, Executive Director, Bandag Manufacturing, Bridgestone Americas. “Our company and our Abilene team have a vital role to play in the transformation of mobility brought forth by a desire of building greener retreads, while helping maximize fuel efficiency for fleets.”
The project taps into Abilene’s skilled labor force in the manufacturing industry. With four universities, a technical college, community college, and state-of-the-art training facilities for high school and college students, the community boasts the necessary education to support future needs. In addition to powerful professionals, the community has robust infrastructure and a strategic location in the south-central United States that secures Abilene as the premier location for manufacturing.